It’s easy to understand that medical mistakes are going to happen. Doctors are human. Nurses are human. People make mistakes in all professions, and that is true in the medical industry as well.
What often goes under the radar, though, is just how common and devastating these accidents can be, and how much of a toll they’re taking on the U.S. population. According to one report, medical errors are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Older studies had previously claimed that they were the third leading cause of death overall, and not just of accidental death. This ranked medical errors third behind heart disease and cancer.
Critics have said that consumers would be appalled if they knew about this type of error rate in any other industry. For instance, car manufacturers would be held responsible if their cars were defective and led to this many deaths every year. But medical errors often don’t get the same treatment. Why not?
One problem is that medical errors can be very complicated. The family members may not have any idea that something went wrong. If the doctor gives someone an IV that contains the wrong solution, and that person passes away, the family may not know that the mistake was made. It’s simply not as obvious as something like a car accident, and the medical industry has become incredibly high-tech.
However, if you suspect that errors have been made, you need to know just how often this happens. You also need to know what legal options you have. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer for help today.